from / in the dictionary & gradable and non-gradable adjectives

Rachel,
I noticed that you used "more exact" in the above posting. That reminds me about something I read years ago called " non-gradable adjectives" which includes "exact".

So if you can say "more exact, then can I say "more correct'?

And are there any changes for the usage of these "non-gradable adjectives" like exact, perfect, right, wrong, correct, round...?

Many thanks.
I see your point, Tony. It would be more scientific, more mathematically correct -- without question -- to say, 'more closely exact.'

However, many 'non-gradable adjectives' can also be made gradable, and often are. The absolute distinction between gradable and non-gradable adjectives is really blurred.

Since 'exact' runs on a continuum from totally inexact to totally exact,saying 'more exact' or 'less exact' seems right and perfectly comprehensible for most of us.

There are grammarians who object to using words like 'unique' and 'exact' in any kind of gradable way. However, there are also many who see the shadings, and I am one of these.

Here is a very interesting thread from an earlier posting on the Grammar Exchange, with enlightening comments by Marilyn.

http://thegrammarexchange.info...021083382#3021083382

And here are some examples of gradable non-gradable adjectives from the New York Times:

• We redheads love to hear about how we're more unique and different from those other heads. Interesting article. ...

• ... on the planet is reduced to the trivial redundancy of the crowd and nothing remains special or truly personal, much less unique. ...

• The Preamble to the Constitution states its purpose as being to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, ...

• President Obama hailed her confirmation as “breaking yet another barrier and moving us yet another step closer to a more perfect union.” ...

• There are moments when Ms. Gusman, who physically resembles a less perfect Angelina Jolie, recalls Ms. Jolie's character in “Changeling,” a ...

• She declined to provide a more exact figure for the company's total debt. Many of Muzak's biggest creditors are music companies that license ...

• ...starting next year, allowing officials five days to clear the coasts for dangerous storms. The expanded forecasts will be less exact, with a margin of error of about 350 miles, said Max Mayfield, director of the center. Current three-day forecasts...

• The NYPL censors by preferring to buy more liberal books than conservative–one side is seen as more correct. ...

• A more correct argument is that our health care system as constituted is really on the verge of collapse– no part of it is working properly. ...

• ..historical account of the rise of modern capitalism, or as an exercise in social prediction, it has turned out to be less correct. The violent century that followed publication of his book did not lack for charismatic authority, and the century...

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Then, by coincidence, there is an article on language which appears in today's New York Times. This may be difficult reading, but its interesting and fun to read. What it does is to reconsider some of the shibboleths about the language usage of English today:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08...-t.html?ref=magazine

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